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Mirrors, are they pointless? - Page 2

post #16 of 43

I use a helmet mounted mirror.  It takes a few seconds at the beginning of a ride to adjust the mirror so that you only have to glance at it. I don't have to turn my attention away from traffic.  It makes sense to know what is going on behind you - just as it does in a car. 

 

I'm a daily commuter, so I'm riding in traffic all the time.  If I were out in the country or on a trail, a mirror might not be so important. 

post #17 of 43

Mirrors are  indispensable  for me. I don't like trusting people too much so I'm always keeping an eye on my six o' clock postion. It's funny of some of the things you see, like the drivers that will get right on your ass (they actually come into the cycling lane) I guess they think it's funny -- especially since they think I can't see them. I usually get in their lane at this time and let them know I know they're there.

 

One important thing with mirrors. They are like any other tools, in the right hands very useful, in the wrong hands very dangerous. It is easy to get distracted by things in your mirror, you must train yourself to do quick glances. If you can't make out the object in your mirror, just look away (keep your eyes on the road) and do quick glances.

 

Like any thing else it's a PITA at first, but with practice doing quick glances becomes second-nature. I don't go more than 30 seconds w/o glancing -- much more often in heavy traffic without bike lanes.

post #18 of 43

I have been riding my vintage Spalding the last few days and I miss the mirrors.

 

I really hate to put them on this bike because they just don't like they belong.

 

post #19 of 43

Hi Guys!

 

Hubby finally installed my new mirror on my bike today, and then we went for an 11-mile ride.  (My first 11-miler; I'm progressing!)  The mirror is the kind that installs on the handlebars and sits above them on its own 'stilt.'  I've never used a mirror on a bike before, so was curious as to how it would be.

 

It took me a few minutes to get it adjusted right, but once I did, I loved having it!  I could tell when Dear Hubby had had enough of 'drafting behind me'  (right....)  and was coming around to pass without warning me -- so I could pretend to 'smoke him,' lol.  More importantly, I could see cars coming up behind me and make sure I moved far enough to the right.  The most important thing I noticed was that not only did I see  the car behind me coming (that I could hear coming, anyway), but I could also see the car BEHIND that one, which I would not have heard over the first one's motor.  I found it almost invaluable!

 

At first I was disappointed because whenever I hit a bump, the mirror would move and not be in my line of vision again.  But after that happened several times, Hubby figured out that he hadn't tightened the screw enough that makes it adjustable/keeps it from moving, and once that was accomplished it was great. 

 

So for now, I've got it on, and I like it, I like it!  icon14.gif

post #20 of 43

Word of warning about your mirrors! Don't get them too tight, they need to move

if they are bumped, and they will get bumped! If they don't move they will break.

 

post #21 of 43



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo_ View Post

Let me offer my two cents.....

 

I think mirrors are pointless.  I tried one once many years ago - one of those types that attach to your helmet.  I found it a big distraction because I kept trying to place my head in the exact position I needed to see behind me and that took my attention off the road in front of me.

 

What do you expect to see in a mirror anyway? 

 

If they were useful maybe we'd see the TdF guys using them - only we don't.

 

I pass all kinds of bike commuters with mirrors when I'm riding to work - I wish they'd see me coming and move over a bit to give me some room. 

If I was sharing the road only with professional riders, I probably wouldn't need a mirror either. Unfortunately most of the motorists and some of the cyclists in this area don't even meet amateur status. Besides, what the TdF guys use and what the rest of the cycling public use are going to be different because we are talking about different groups of people riding for different reasons under different conditions. I have never seen the riders in the TdF having to dodge heavy traffic during the competition. And while you may be of TdF caliber, I am not so I'll just keep my mirror so that I can see the next idiot that isn't paying attention so that I can take evasive action prior to becoming a hood ornament.

 

post #22 of 43

jolimbo, I use my Cycleaware mirror (helmet-mount) to see behind me.  Mostly cars, but also bikes when I'm in a pack.  After riding with a mirror for the last 30K miles, I no longer want to be on the road without it.  I got used to mirrors when riding motorcycles and driving cars; to me they are more useful on my bicycle.  We don't have bike lanes or shoulders here, so awareness of vehicles behind is useful.  Normally I'll ride near the middle of the lane, and when I see a car approaching will normally more over and raise my hand in a wave if it's safe to let pass.  If not,    

 

Concerning style and speed, I could care less what TdF riders do on closed roads as you seem to.  Actually the helmet mirror pops off instantly for races and photo ops, or swings down when I don't want it in the field of view.  Lots of veteran racers here are now using mirrors when on club rides and tours. Since I'll never be as fast as them, I don't need to worry about how I look wearing my mirror.  Some of them even carry rear racks for their extra gear....makes it more fun when they put the hurt on some unsuspecting newb with his 15 lb CF wonderbike.      

post #23 of 43

Hi, KD and DHK!

 

You're both right; the next time I'm racing Lance or whoever the bigwig is in the TdF, I'll take off my mirror, as I'm sure that's the only thing I would have to be embarrassed about.  ROTF.gif

 

Actually, I do love having it to see the idiots in their cars behind me who are texting/dozing/applying makeup as they drift toward me.  But I also found on my last trip that it was nice for checking out the thugs I passed on the road (to make sure they're not taking a sudden run at me to steal the bike), as well as a dog that chased me.  She was so tiny and cute she couldn't have hurt me if she tried, unless I hit her and lost control.  But because she wasn't barking, I hadn't realized she was chasing me until I saw her in the mirror -- and also saw her poor owner running frantically down the road after her, which enabled me to turn around so she could catch her before a car came by. 

 

I actually think I'm really going to like having it.  And as far as what it makes me LOOK like.... If I worried about what I look like on a bike, I would never have started riding at my weight to begin with... in which case I wouldn't weigh 50 pounds less now than I did in July!  So I'll keep biking - with my mirror -- and keep working on looking better in the big ones at home. 

 

Thanks for the input, y'all.

 

Sierra

 

(And Brad, thanks for the warning about over-tightening; we'll watch that.)

post #24 of 43

"Are they pointless?"

 

Hell no...in fact, they're kinda pointy. They're so pointy that when my wife crashed last August (did an endo while descending & landed on her face) the mirror she was wearing punctured her cheek, ripped a hole through-and-through so far that it also slashed her gums open. Plastic surgeon had to sew up the hole in her face in five separate layers. Mirror looked like someone had dipped it in the pan drippings from a roast turkey.

post #25 of 43

Wow, Bob,

 

That's really scary!  I am assuming your wife was doing mountain biking, or at least racing, since you're talking about descending.  Was it a helmet mirror or bar-mounted?  As a total newbie, I so far only do flat-terrain bike paths, so I think the chance of my doing an endo are fairly slim.  I'm also assuming that a splintered fork or shredded aluminum could do the same thing, but that's scary, nonetheless.   Makes me definitely wanna be careful, riding, lol.

 

Glad she lived through it!

post #26 of 43

Re doing an endo...

 

I was riding in a group with a friend on a TT bike - I was right beside him when his rear wheel came straight up and over his front.  He had hit the tiniest little hole in the road - not really even big enough to be called a hole actually.  I think what happened was because the TT bike put most of his weight on his front wheel and when he hit the bump even more weight got shifted forward and over he went.  Pretty scary to see but I guess it's even scarier if it happens to you.

 

This chap landed on his head and back and lay in the road until the ambulance arrived to take him away.  I saw him later that evening with his arm in a sling because he had hurt his shoulder but other than that (plus a broken helmet and a slightly damaged bike) he was ok.

 

I still see many people riding without helmets - it's unbelievable to me.  Some of these guys are very experienced racers with wives and families too - I just don't get it.

 

And....he didn't have a mirror (I think).

post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo_ View Post

Re doing an endo...

 

I was riding in a group with a friend on a TT bike - I was right beside him when his rear wheel came straight up and over his front.  He had hit the tiniest little hole in the road - not really even big enough to be called a hole actually.  I think what happened was because the TT bike put most of his weight on his front wheel and when he hit the bump even more weight got shifted forward and over he went.  Pretty scary to see but I guess it's even scarier if it happens to you.

 

This chap landed on his head and back and lay in the road until the ambulance arrived to take him away.  I saw him later that evening with his arm in a sling because he had hurt his shoulder but other than that (plus a broken helmet and a slightly damaged bike) he was ok.

 

I still see many people riding without helmets - it's unbelievable to me.  Some of these guys are very experienced racers with wives and families too - I just don't get it.

 

And....he didn't have a mirror (I think).


That is scary.  ( . . . reason for not riding a TT bike in a group, but I am not really going to go there now . . . )

 

We had a similar situation with a teammate at a TTT practice. She was in her aero position, hit a tiny hole, and went down hard. After lots of surgery to repair her face and arm, and many months off the bike, she is recovering well. This is one reason to really work on strengthening the core. Even down in the aero bars, we still need to be able to unweight the front wheel and absorb shocks without losing control, and this requires shifting weight ever so slightly onto the saddle and off the handlebars.

post #28 of 43


Neither mountain biking nor racing. Just a casual group ride on the rolling roads of southern Connecticut. Pretty hard not to do some descending (and ascending) anytime you go for a ride in the northeast.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraSlim View Post

I am assuming your wife was doing mountain biking, or at least racing, since you're talking about descending.  

post #29 of 43

That's even scarier, that you can do an endo just going down a hill!  Fortunately for me, Sacramento doesn't have much in the way of hills, which at this point I would have trouble getting up, amyway, lol.  But eventually I expect to do some mild ones. 

 

I've always wondered if using the drops on bars doesn't push your weight more over the front bar and lend itself to doing an endo.  (And I have no idea what a TT bike is, lol.)  I'm guessing your wife's mirror was helmet-mounted?  Because it seems like otherwise, the header off the bike would take your face away from a bar-mounted mirror, not into it, though I could definitely be wrong. 

 

I think I'm actually looking for some security so that the same thing doesn't happen to me.  Scary stuff!  (But not enough to make me quit biking... or using my mirror.)

post #30 of 43

If it's any consolation, you can do an endo on perfectly flat ground.

 

But obviously the trick is to not do one, ever! And the best way to avoid them is a combination of preparation/observation, so that you never get in a situation where an endo is likely, and possession of the small but mandatory skillset for getting out of an endo should one become immenent. With that combination it doesn't really matter where your weight is in relation to the front wheel; it has a whole lot more to do with where your focus is.

 

My wife's mirror was mounted to her glasses.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraSlim View Post

That's even scarier, that you can do an endo just going down a hill!  Fortunately for me, Sacramento doesn't have much in the way of hills, which at this point I would have trouble getting up, amyway, lol.  But eventually I expect to do some mild ones. 

 

I've always wondered if using the drops on bars doesn't push your weight more over the front bar and lend itself to doing an endo.  (And I have no idea what a TT bike is, lol.)  I'm guessing your wife's mirror was helmet-mounted?  Because it seems like otherwise, the header off the bike would take your face away from a bar-mounted mirror, not into it, though I could definitely be wrong. 

 

I think I'm actually looking for some security so that the same thing doesn't happen to me.  Scary stuff!  (But not enough to make me quit biking... or using my mirror.)

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